Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Emptying woodchip hoppers...

16521 views
38 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 2,299 posts
Emptying woodchip hoppers...
Posted by Dave-the-Train on Sunday, October 25, 2009 11:51 AM

I'm really not being awkward... 

I've copied this from the very interesting "unit Coal Train" thread...

" markpierce:
Wait just one minute.  I thought hopper cars had openings/chutes so they can be self-unloading.  An open car requied to be turned upside to unload because it has no chutes doesn't sound like a hopper car to me.  In my mind, such a car is a gondola.  Seems to me that just because a type of car carries products typically carried by traditional hopper cars doesn't make that car a hopper.  Someone providing the appropriate ARA car-type code might calm my befuddlement".

"If it has doors to unload in the bottom of the car its a hopper.

Whether or not it can rotary dump has nothing to do with whether its a hopper or a gon, both types of cars can be equipped with rotary couplers".

So, what I've been wondering is...

The huge woodchip cars (such as those made by Walthers and LBF?EC Shops) come with bottom doors - okay, so those are hoppers - OR they come with no bottom doors with either no doors at all, presumiably rotary, or end doors for end dumping.

The thing is... they all seem to be called "Woodchip Hoppers" and not "Woodchip Gons".  I've noticed this particularly because I want to get more of the type with proper hopper doors in the floor and they are really awkward to identify on EBay.  Plus almost all of the models are of the other types.

So, anyway, does this mean that woodchip "cars" are the exception that proves the rule?

Thanks

Cool

PS Do the rotary woodchip cars have rotary couplingsat one or both ends?  I've not noticed one end of these cars being painted a different colour in the same way that rotary coalcars are painted...

Thanks

Cool

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Sunday, October 25, 2009 12:37 PM

Dave-the-Train

"If it has doors to unload in the bottom of the car its a hopper.

So, what I've been wondering is...

The huge woodchip cars (such as those made by Walthers and LBF?EC Shops) come with bottom doors - okay, so those are hoppers - OR they come with no bottom doors with either no doors at all, presumiably rotary, or end doors for end dumping.

The thing is... they all seem to be called "Woodchip Hoppers" and not "Woodchip Gons".  I've noticed this particularly because I want to get more of the type with proper hopper doors in the floor and they are really awkward to identify on EBay.  Plus almost all of the models are of the other types.

So, anyway, does this mean that woodchip "cars" are the exception that proves the rule?

It is a puzzlement.  Lots of things make little sense to me.  In this instance, my guess is that all modelers and manufacturers don't carefully observe official definitions.

By the way, there were gondolas with doors on the floor for unloading.  However, they were still considered gondolas and not hoppers because they weren't totally self-unloading.  Someone needed to push the contents over the door openings.

Mark

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,324 posts
Posted by dehusman on Sunday, October 25, 2009 10:17 PM

Dave-the-Train

The thing is... they all seem to be called "Woodchip Hoppers" and not "Woodchip Gons".  I've noticed this particularly because I want to get more of the type with proper hopper doors in the floor and they are really awkward to identify on EBay.  Plus almost all of the models are of the other types.

So, anyway, does this mean that woodchip "cars" are the exception that proves the rule?

What does the railroad classify them as a hopper or a gon? Railfans might call them "hoppers" but that doesn't make them hoppers.  Technically, as Mark alluded to, a hopper car is a self clearing car. 

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 16,466 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, October 26, 2009 9:20 AM

Modelers need to learn railroad speak based on railroad logic..

Let us turn to the prototype to see what they say.

Per CSX:

Woodchips: Bottom drop or Rotary Dump Woodchip Hopper..

Sounds straight forward and easy to understand.See:

http://www.csx.com/?fuseaction=customers.acquanted#DOC26911

---------------------------

As per NS.

Woodchip:Hopper:Discharge Rotary Dump or Gravity Feed..

Sounds plain enough.

See: http://www.nscorp.com/nscorphtml/equipment/woodchip_hopper.pdf

See we found the terms they use in railroad/customer speak....

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Monday, October 26, 2009 11:18 AM

What do marketing folks know?  They aren't railroad men.

John Armstrong's The Railroad, What It Is, What It Does, 5th edition (2008) has a section describing major car types.  Under coal, it describes bottom-dump hopper or high-side solid-bottom gondolas as coal carriers.  The book doesn't mention wood chips, but I believe the same descriptive principle would apply.  This authoritative source is consistent with what I've ever learned about railroads: a hopper needs to be self-clearing.

Also, here is an excerpt from Kalmbach's  The Model Railroader's Guide to Industries Along the Tracks, page 47: "... increased use of rotary dumpers by power plants resulted in increased use of large gondolas (with no bottom discharge doors) for unit-train coal service." (emphasis added)

Further, here is a quote from Kalmbach's The Model Railroader's Guide to Industries Along the Tracks 2, page 56: "Modern wood chips cars are among the largest railcars in operation.  These large gondolas, with a topihinged door on one end, came into popular use in the 1960s." (emphasis added)

In addition, Anthony Thompson's authoritative multi-volume Southern Pacific Freight Cars is consistent with the above.

Thus, I still hold to my original thesis that people often misuse the term "hopper" when describing a gondola, and that is the source of the confusion.

Mark

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 16,466 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, October 26, 2009 11:33 AM

Mark,Frankly I will go with the real railroaders after all its their job and they know the tools of their trade especially customer service since they recommend and fill the car orders for the customers including new rail customers.

 IF I was a new rail customer guess who I will turn to? Not the model railroad book authors because like all "experts" they complicate the simple and overstate the obvious.

 

What is so hard in understanding what NS and CSX wrote? NS even provided a diagram so their customer would know the car type!

 

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Monday, October 26, 2009 11:49 AM

BRAKIE

What is so hard in understanding what NS and CSX wrote? NS even provided a diagram so their customer would know the car type!

I understand them perfectly.  But as I said, they are marketing people.  I place more trust with serious students/researchers of railroads.

As I mentioned before, someone show the ARA car-type codes for specific cars to prove us (me, John, Tony, Dave, etc.) wrong.  Does anyone have a contemporary car registry?  Mine is a 1953 version and is out of date.

http://eaneubauer.ipower.com/mech.pdf

Mark

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Monday, October 26, 2009 1:00 PM

Just received the following messages on whether those cars are hoppers or gondolas.

On Oct 26, 2009 1:42 PM, Tony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:
> Mark, I'm not sure about contemporary usage, but traditionally
>you are entirely right. The definition of a hopper is a self-clearing
>car. But I suppose CSX or anyone could maintain that an inverted or
>tilted-end dumping car sure is self clearing. My own view is that,
>as you say, such cars are not SELF unloading. Not sure the AAR codes
>would help, but I can provide if you want.

Most (if not all) of CSX's coal gons are AAR Type E100, "Equipped Gondola,
Inside Length: Less than 48ft," like this one:

CSXT 386238:
http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/rspicture.aspx?id=439142

I could see calling them "hoppers" from a marketing standpoint since the general
public probably doesn't understand the distinction, but I'd guess the
maintenance people still call it a gon.

Dave Olsen
Georgetown, TX

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 16,466 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, October 26, 2009 4:09 PM

Again let us turn to the prototype for the facts.

 

Here's what they call a bottom dump woodchip car and its not your standard hopper car.

http://www.csx.com/?fuseaction=customers.search_car&n=Bottom%20Dump%20Woodchip%20Hopper

 

Here's the rotary car definition..They called it a gon..

http://www.csx.com/?fuseaction=customers.search_car&n=Rotary%20Dump%20Woodchip%20Hoppers

 

As far as  "self clearing" I suppose both are-one is emptied through the bottom and the other gets rotated--kind of a fine line and either would be correct.

There is no such thing as a self unloading car-it will require help.

 

 

 

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Monday, October 26, 2009 5:13 PM

Brakie, thanks for helping to prove my point.

As far as self-clearing, I'll agree human invervention is needed to open hopper doors.

Mark

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 16,466 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, October 26, 2009 5:43 PM

markpierce

Brakie, thanks for helping to prove my point.

As far as self-clearing, I'll agree human invervention is needed to open hopper doors.

Mark

I figured if I looked long enough I would find the facts according to the prototype.

So,it depends on the type of woodchip car and I knew the picture your friend sent didn't fit in the grand scheme of things except as a open hopper suited for coal,coke,stone,ores,gravel etc....So,there had to be a correct answer in railroad speak.

And we now have the answer in railroad speak.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Southwest US
  • 12,914 posts
Posted by tomikawaTT on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 4:00 AM

So what, exactly, is a drop-bottom gondola?

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - with drop-SIDE gondolas)

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 2,299 posts
Posted by Dave-the-Train on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 6:14 AM

tomikawaTT

So what, exactly, is a drop-bottom gondola?

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - with drop-SIDE gondolas)

A Drop bottom Gon is a Gon with doors in the floor that can be released to drop down... which should result in the load (or most of the load) dropping out.  AFAIK they were mostly used for coal traffic and mostly for domestic coal being delivered to local traders and/or team tracks... but I'm sure that I could be proved wrong on this.

The evidence that I do have for cars c1880 - c1910 is that a whole variety of cars were produced for mutiple use. The aim was to minimise non-paying/empty backhaul.  The result was a number of "combination car" designs.  (This was not the meaning of "combination car" later used when cars were made of a mix of steel frame with wood cladding - particularly during WW2 whenthere was a steel shortage).

 Designs fo combination cars that I have copies of drawings for include

  • gons with drop bottoms as described (the only design that survived a long time),
  • gons that could be turned into hopper floored cars by shifting floor panels around - but didn't have hopper shapes built below the frame level.
  • gons that were hopper bottomed or, more accurately, part hopper bottomed and ,significantly did not have either end slopes or inverted V(s) mid body. (Think of a hopper that has had its inside panels caved out so that it can take loads of lumber or steel beams).
  • gons with hopper bottoms that have doors inside the car that can be laid down flat to make a complete floor (to load sacks or barrels) or flipped up to make a hopper shaped floor in most or all of the car.
  • Boxcars! in all but the 3rd floor arrangement above...
  • with plain roofs and sides.
  • with small doors in the upper sides and/or hatches in the roof
  • many boxcars had a small door high in the middle of the ends for lumber loading.
  • Icould go on into "Farm cars" which could be reshuffled around for all sorts of purposes including not only carrying cattle but carrying the farmer's family when relocating to a new farm.

The thing with all these cars was that the abilty to remodel the car meant extra structure and extra weight.  Their initial cost would have been much higher and they probably suffered from high maintenance /lost or stolen parts and ill fitting panels.  In short the concept of reconfiguring a car to be able to carry a load at all times was desireable but the practice proved to be too complicated and more expensive than effective.  It also has to be remembered that labour to shovel loads in or out of cars remained relatively cheap.  The rise in labour costs happened to pretty much coincide with the spread of steel bodied cars.  These cars tended to be bigger almost from their start.  The weight of moveable panels in a steel car would have been a problem.

The surviving drop bottom gons are about the only design that required comparatively little in the way of extra parts and extra weight.  I would not have wanted the job of climbing into one to shovel coal (or whatever) fromthe non-self-clearing areas!

I have extremely little evidence of any sort of US gons with drop sides.  The only ones I can recall for sure were effectively a gon version of a side discharge hopper.  That is, they were gons with small doors in the lower part of the sides.  Think an ordinary gon with lots of little doors added between each vertical side frame member.  The top rail of the side remained solid/continuous.  These doors seem to have been more usually top hung rather than drop down.

Except for a few MoW cars I don't recall ever seeing an example of a US gon with a complete drop side or full height drop doors in the side.  I could be wrong... but I haven't seen any.

I suspect that this design difference from "everybody else" is due to the centre beam frame design and draft gear of US designed cars.  These come from the covered wagon and are entirely logical in the US context.  "Everybody else" followed the equally logical design of horse carriages and farm carts both of which built their bodies on side frames.  "Everybody else" also used drop doors of full height and "cupboard" doors while the US normally use sliding doors except on reefers.

So, modelling Japanese railways, Chuck falls into the world of "everbody else" and gets drop sides and probably a bunch of design features that look odd in the US.  I don't recall whether (at least older) Japanese stockhad side buffers and hook & chain coupling rather than combined (buckeye) centre buffer-couplers?

That was a bit of a digression but it was my OP!  Wink

Cool

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 2,299 posts
Posted by Dave-the-Train on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 7:39 AM
EEK! Shock  I didn't  mean to get back to a "who knows the correct version" fight like we had in the side rails on tank cars thread. BlushMy conclusion though is that Brakie has it right in his first post here... wait a moment though all you other guys!  Smile  Someof you are going to hate this.  MischiefI was really tired when I checked the thread last night so I didn't get my head round it first off and had to go back to it...Below I have directly copied text from the CSX links that Larry has given and highlightedkey bits."

Wood chips

Bottom Dump or Rotary Dump Woodchip Hopper
 Bottom Dump Woodchip Hopper    General Description  Bottom Dump Wood Chip Hoppers are specifically designed for the transport of soft and hard wood chips. The bottom dump hopper can be unloaded through the bottom hatches or a rotary car dumper.  Commodity Shipped In Bottom Dump Wood Chip Hopper  Car specifically designed for wood chip service. The wood chip hopper is unable to carry any other type of commodity.  Rotary Dump Woodchip Hoppers   General Description  Rotary Dump Woodchip gondolas are specifically designed for the transport of woodchips. The rotary car can only be unloaded by using a rotary car dumper. The majority of the rotary dump woodchip cars on CSX today are shipper owned.  Commodity Shipped In Rotary Dump Woodchip Gondola  Car designed to carry woodchips. This car is unsuitable for any other commodity". Anyone else notice the magic word in there?  Letslook again..."Rotary Dump Woodchip Hoppers   General Description  Rotary Dump Woodchip gondolas... Commodity Shipped In Rotary Dump Woodchip Gondola”.

Hmmm!  Confused  Seems to me that they don't know what it is!  Laugh

Either that or...

The inherited generic/popular/common term used for dirty great big carscarrying woodchips has come down as "woodchip hopper" and that's what everyone is stuck with... but some of those "hoppers" are not hoppers... so CSX is stressing the point

" The rotary car can only be unloaded by using a rotary car dumper".

So... what this sort of proves... is the same thing that we managed toagree on in the tank car thread... what things get called is not consistant.

Umm? Banged Head should I say that it is consistant?  Banged Head because people keep calling woodchip cars "hoppers" even when they're not hoppers but gons? Banged Head... except the CSX marketing people are...Banged Head calling themboth... within a few words of each other,

Why don't they have a smiley for someone exploding?

Meanwhile, back at my OP.... do woodchip cars have rotary couplers?

Thanks

Cool

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,324 posts
Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 7:47 AM

Dave-the-Train
Meanwhile, back at my OP.... do woodchip cars have rotary couplers?

You would have to check each individual series of car on each individual railroad or owner.  Cars intended to be rotary dumped don't necessarily need rotary couplers.  Only cars intended to be unloaded coupled in train need rotary couplers.  Cars intended to be unloaded in a single car dumper, uncoupled from the other cars don't need rotary couplers.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 16,466 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 9:08 AM

I think what we have here is a failure to communicate and understand railroad speak.

Look again at the BOTTOM DUMP woodchip hopper..Unlike the rotatory dumped hopper the bottom dump can  be unloaded the bays along the bottom of the car whereas the rotary woodchip hopper can not be bottom unloaded.Therefore in railroad speak the rotary woodchip hopper is a gon since it can not be unloaded from the bottom.

Both terms can be use freely.

 

There was some pass railroad speak that was confusing to most modelers because they failed to pass railroad speak 101.So,modelers came up with their own speak which differs from railroad speak and then the "experts" muggled this speak until the 2 speaks is unrecognizable and confusing to most..

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: Canada
  • 1,025 posts
Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:06 AM

Dave-the-Train
woodchip cars (such as those made by Walthers and LBF?EC Shops) come with bottom doors - okay, so those are hoppers - OR they come with no bottom doors with either no doors at all, presumiably rotary, or end doors for end dumping.

The thing is... they all seem to be called "Woodchip Hoppers" and not "Woodchip Gons".  I've noticed this particularly because I want to get more of the type with proper hopper doors in the floor and they are really awkward to identify on EBay.  Plus almost all of the models are of the other types.

So, anyway, does this mean that woodchip "cars" are the exception that proves the rule?

No it just proves that people have no idea how to identify what they're talking about.

It's really not that complicated, if it has a solid bottom, it's a gondola. If it has bottom outlets, it's a hopper. So yes, the big car from Walthers with the bottom doors is a hopper; other types of woodchip cars are gondolas.

The only "exception" is a drop-bottom gondola, which has a flat floor with doors that are hinged at the centre of the car and allow the car's contents to be unloaded to the sides.

Example:

 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 2,299 posts
Posted by Dave-the-Train on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 12:16 PM

cv_acr

It's really not that complicated, if it has a solid bottom, it's a gondola. If it has bottom outlets, it's a hopper. So yes, the big car from Walthers with the bottom doors is a hopper; other types of woodchip cars are gondolas.

The only "exception" is a drop-bottom gondola, which has a flat floor with doors that are hinged at the centre of the car and allow the car's contents to be unloaded to the sides.

Example:

 

That's an interesting pic Smile.  Shows that there are still drop bottom gons.  Even more interesting this one discharges to the sides as mentioned.  At least some of the earlier ones I went on about earlier dropped their load straight down... the hinges were across the car IIRC.  More significantly only a few of them achieved such a large area of the floor opening...most of them had a limited or no door space over the trucks... meaning that while most of the load could be dropped straight out they always needed some assistance from shovel pushers to get the whole load out.

I think that I've not got across the point that CSX are actually calling the same car by two names in their public literature.

I certainly agree that allsorts of people get into such issues and confuse the matter... but what I suspect has happened in this case is that the original whopping great big cars were hoppers and were commonly known as hoppers.  Then when the later, different, cars came along looking much the same and carrying the same load I suspect that people just kept calling them "woodchip hoppers" regardless of the fact that they were gons. This probably happened with RR men, customers and hobbyists.  The people who may have got caught out would have been those taking orders for cars... hence the need to publish and note the difference between the two types and stress that the "rotary woodchip gondolas" could only be unloaded by rotary equipment.

I would suggest that when a crew looked along a consist they would probably just see the huge cars and, not being able to see under them end on from a distance, think of them and talk of them as woodchip hoppers.  In a lot of cases this wouldn't matter.

The issue ties in with the "open this side only" thread.  Local yard masters and conductors would be aware of facilities on their patch that had a specific need and keep an eye open for trouble.  This would only need to be a glancing check.  Regular cars would get no reaction, cars with new or different paint would warrant a second look just to be sure.

Then again... the people sending the woodchips wouldn't want problems to arise at the far end so they would be keeping an eye out that loads going to places without a rotary dump (and loads going to end dumps) didn't get into the wrong sort of cars.

Thank for your responses everybody Big Smile

Cool

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: good ole WI
  • 1,326 posts
Posted by BerkshireSteam on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 2:28 PM

So now that the drop bottom gondola debate portion is cleared, what about the OP? His subject little was "emptying woodchip gondolas" yet I don't recall that even mentioned in his actual post. I don't recall anyone answering that either. So how were the high-sided woodchip gondolas (the one's marketing by freight car makers, specially in N scale) unloaded? I don't know what I would use them for but I would like to have some. They would go right along with the drop-bottom gondola's, no real use for them lol.

 PS. I also just thought of an interesting kitbash. One person mentioned he either thought or knew of some drop-bottom gondola's where the floor hinges ran across the width of the car, not the length. I forget who but someone makes a drop-bottom gon in N with the door lowering/raising mechanism on the outside. One could buy one of these and kitbash it so the door mechanisms ran across the the width of the car, on top of the gon, and use it as a ballast car. Maybe add some sort of detail to the bottom that looked like chutes or smaller doors so it seems the ballast is controled to flow between the rails and not just every where. Some thing to think about, and yes I know about the Difco side-dump ballast cars, but I think my idea would look just as cool.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,324 posts
Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 3:08 PM

Once more with feeling.  If its a gondola then you turn the car over in a rotary dumper or if it has an end door you can lift the car and dump it out that end.

I'm amazed at how difficult people are making this.  If you have holes in the bottom of the car you can unload it through the holes.  If there aren't holes in the bottom then you have to unload it through the top.  I guess somebody could unload it with a clamshell or bucket unloader from the top, they do that with gravel on lower side gons and junk gons, but I've never seen it with wood chips.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: good ole WI
  • 1,326 posts
Posted by BerkshireSteam on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 3:17 PM

Hrmf. Well, since all this trying-to-understand-something looks like it's starting to irritate people, I will just go ahead and try to them out right mad Smile,Wink, & Grin The reviews for the models don't mention any details about doors on the woodchip cars, so lets just go ahead and ask, how are these doors hinged? Side hinged? Top hinged? Diagnoly hinged? Is it the whole end thats hinged? Just the wood chip extension? Just the drop-end of the gondola? Did I tick anyone of yet Laugh But in all serious I am asking to gain knowledge on the subject, not just to be annoying, although I may have tried that a little (pff, diagnolly hinged, I can see the posts now, "yea buddy well maybe your head is diagnolly hinged, so it swings right up your..."). Someone mentioned about top hinged but I wasn't quite sure what part of the car they were reffering too.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,324 posts
Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 4:11 PM

Look for the hinges on the car or a picture of the car.

Normally 3 general configurations on wood chip cars.

Hopper car.  Regular hopper doors on the bottom of the car, hinged at the top and dump on or between the rails..

Gondola car.  No doors.  Turn it upside down to unload it.

Gondola car.  End door, the car could be hinged on the top or hinged on the side.  Lift the solid end of the car up in the air and dump the chips out the other end.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    April, 2004
  • From: SC
  • 315 posts
Posted by lonewoof on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 5:53 PM

 So what would you call one of these? It has slope sheets, and bottom doors (hinged across the width of the car), so is it a hopper?



 

Remember: In South Carolina, North is southeast of Due West... HIOAg /Bill

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,324 posts
Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 7:25 PM

You could call it a boxcar (that's what they were made from).

You could call it a drop bottom gon.

You could call it a hopper.

The CofG classed it as a "woodchip" car type K140 (1971 ORER), which is an "equipped" hopper car type HTS with less than 154,000 lbs capacity.

It looks like they extended the sides of a 40 ft boxcar, welded a plate over the door, put in a slope sheet and added drop doors, with door mechanisms off WW1 era hopper cars .  Its a prototype 100% kitbashed, homebuilt car.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: Canada
  • 1,025 posts
Posted by cv_acr on Thursday, October 29, 2009 9:49 AM

Third option when you have limited facilities: end ramp & front end loader:

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 2,299 posts
Posted by Dave-the-Train on Saturday, October 31, 2009 11:00 AM

cv_acr

Third option when you have limited facilities: end ramp & front end loader:

  That's the best option I've yet seen!  Smile,Wink, & Grin 

Anyone know if this was a one off operation or if anyone else used the same method?

Would I be right in thinking that the door is winched open using a winch supported on the fram in the foreground?

 Any other "interesting" arangements?

Cool

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,324 posts
Posted by dehusman on Saturday, October 31, 2009 1:28 PM

  That's the best option I've yet seen!  Smile,Wink, & Grin 

As long as you want to unload one chip car at a time.   I rather doubt a paper mill would use this method (unless it was a extremely small paper mill), it would take a huge amount of switching to spot each of the 30 or 40 cars of chips a day that a typical paper mill would use,  one at a time.  None of the papermills I have been associated with used this method, all were bottom dump mills.

 

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 2,299 posts
Posted by Dave-the-Train on Saturday, October 31, 2009 3:49 PM
All end door cars would have to be emptied one car at a time. Clearly this would be a lot quicker switching the cars onto a tipping machine rather than unloading them with a digger... but still a lot of switching. It always surprised me that they ever went for an end door variant.
  • Member since
    August, 2009
  • From: Vermont, US
  • 86 posts
Posted by Gil Janus on Saturday, October 31, 2009 4:18 PM

The McNeil Station in Burlington, VT is a 50 Mega-watt bio-mass fueled electric planet belonging to Burlington Electric. It gets it's fuel via trailer trucks full of wood chips and via a 2-to-3-times a week 20-car wood chip unit train. All of the railcars belong to BE. The NECR delivers them to a strictly gravity dump at the plant. In the last few years it has been modified to also use Natural Gas, and they will soon be using both the Gas and Wood Chips together to make the plant more efficient, ie, produce more power with the same amount of fuel.

McNeil Station in Burlington Vermont

To see the entire plant, visit the Burlington Electric McNeil Station in Burlington, VT

Bing has a nice aerial shot, complete with a wood-chip train going thru the unloader ! The Bird's Eye doesn't have a train.

McNeil Station in Burlington, VT

Gil

Where ever you go, there you are !

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Sunday, November 01, 2009 5:40 PM

ConocoPhillips's Santa Maria, CA petroleum refinery ships raw petroleum coke via railroad hopper car.  This fine-particulate product is loaded into railroad hoppers using a railroad-car-sized front loader.  Custom-built metal covers for the hoppers are used to prevent the product from blowing away while in transit.  The covers are removed for loading and unloading of the product.  The coke is shipped to a southern California port where the hoppers are unloaded not through the hoppers, but by turning the cars upside down.  Gee, hoppers cars treated as gondolas and "disguised" as covered hoppers while in transit.

Mark

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!